A few days ago, this little emblem fell off the cabinet where it has been affixed for the last 56 years. It was a feature of the kitchen that would often catch my eye and I would always think to myself, “who’s lifetime are we talking about? I’d prefer that it not be mine”
Just a few days before the fixative failed, Scott and I had been talking about the possibility of replacing the kitchen. Now that we have the added space of the efficiency next door, we’d like to move our laundry over there. That could easily kick off a much needed redo (the kitchen still functions, but there’s so much that is screaming to be replaced).
But now I wonder if the kitchen is listening and has gained sentience. Is it communicating with us, pleading not to be replaced? Or is it simply ready for retirement?
I think about writing in this space every day. Sometimes, it’s just a whisper of a thought that passes so fast that I barely notice it happening. Other times, it’s a more insistent urge. Lately, the desire to be writing about my mundane life has been building into a tsunami of need. I can either yield and let the wave wash over me or I can drown in it. And so, here I am.
In part, it’s the isolation. We’re wrapping up the second full year of the pandemic. My days are full of the work necessary to keep two toddlers clean, dressed, fed, and entertained. It’s occupying work, but doesn’t do much in the way of giving me connection with people outside my household. And writing on the internet has always given me a sense of connection (even if hardly anyone drops by anymore).
The other thing that’s propelling me back towards this space is the fact that I just hit my 20 year anniversary in Philadelphia. I don’t remember the exact date I moved back in January 2002 (it’s probably buried somewhere in the archives of this site), but it was mid-month. I can’t quite believe how much of my life I’ve spent in this city (and in this apartment).
When I moved here, I was 22 years old. I followed a quiet nudge from my inner voice that Philadelphia was the place I needed to be. I came with a couple of suitcases and an expectation that I’d be here for three years. But then my grandmother died. I inherited the apartment. I made friends. I started writing. I met Scott. I went to grad school. And on, and on, and on.
I am not at all dissatisfied with my life, but it is decidedly different from what I imagined for myself when I was younger. I wonder what the next 20 years will hold. And will I still be here, in apartment 2024?